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Cooking with Apples and Oranges: Get Creative

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. An orange a day…well, I really don’t know how to end that. Truth be told, I have never really compared apples and oranges. I’ve never really put much thought into the subject. Who has?

Apparently, there is a bunch of guys who had too much a little spare time and decided to put the apple and the orange head to head. Their efforts were not entirely wasted, as they came up with an infographic detailing their findings. Actually, I would go as far as to say that their efforts have borne (good) fruit – the infographic is very detailed and is rather amusing. Scroll down to the end of this post to view it.

This simple infographic got me thinking about using these two common fruits in the kitchen. You may have a bowl of the fruits in the house practically all the time, but how much do you incorporate apples and oranges into your cooking? Read on, and you may be surprised at what you can do with apples and oranges with a little creativity.

Apples and Oranges in Food

Main Dishes

Pork Fillets in Calvados with Apple Rings

Pork Fillets in Calvados with Apple RingsThe other white meat is an interesting thing to work with, and it goes perfectly with apples. Bored with the usual fried or grilled pork chop? Here’s an alternative that will entice even your red meat-lover: Pork Fillets in Calvados with Apple Rings. In this recipe, apples are used in two ways. One is rather obvious – you slice the fruit and fry it up.

The second is a little more subtle. That is, Calvados is actually derived from apples. This apple brandy is made in the part of France called Lower Normandy. The apples used for Calvados can be of any of more than 200 varieties. The important factors in the production of Calvados are that the apples are of the highest quality and that the brandy is aged in oak casks for at least two years.

Ravioli of Quail with Apple, Bacon, and Sage

Quail Ravioli with AppleHave you ever had quail? To be honest, I have never tasted this mid-sized bird, but from what I have heard and read, the flavor is richer than chicken but less strong that other game birds. In fact, if you find yourself always resorting to chicken or turkey, why not give quail a try? You just might win your way deeper into your guests’ hearts!

For starters, try this Ravioli of Quail with Apple, Bacon, and Sage recipe. It makes use of quail meat – not the whole bird – so you don’t have to worry about serving the dish to people who might not be used to the whole bird. It’s actually a great way to introduce new ingredients! As for the apple, you have to grate it for use as a filling.

Pasta with Tuna and Orange

Pasta with Tuna and OrangeI don’t know about you, but I don’t normally think of oranges when fiddling in the kitchen. Then again, if you think about it, oranges are similar to lemons and we use lemons for a lot of dishes. The next time you feel like whipping up a pasta dish, here’s a new idea: Pasta with Tuna and Orange.

Tuna and orange may not be the first thing to come to mind when thinking of a new pasta sauce, but they actually complement each other well. What’s more, the recipe is very easy to make. Just bust open a can of tuna that’s been sitting in your pantry for emergencies (read: quick cooking) – no need to go to the market for fresh fish. Oh, and this recipe makes use of both orange segments and juice.

Pepperpot Beef and Orange Stew

Pepperpot Beef and OrangeBeef stew is a classic that never fails to be appreciated. However, there are times when your taste buds just want a different, perhaps more refreshing flavor. If this is the case, the perfect dish to experiment with is Pepperpot Beef and Orange Stew.

The thing I like about this version of beef stew is the added flavor that ingredients such as ginger and sour cream provide – aside from the flavor of the orange wedges, of course. As with most stews, you will need some time to cook the dish, so make sure that you are not in a rush when you try this out. In spite of the cooking time, you will not regret trying out something new. I’m sure even Pepper Potts herself would agree! ;)

Roast Pork Loin with Apple, Ginger, and Orange Stuffing

Roast Pork Loin with Apple, Ginger, and Orange StuffingLet’s take things to a different level by combining these two fruits in one dish, shall we? Apples and oranges – well, they’re a lot different (as the infographic will repeatedly tell you), but it does not mean that they can’t work together. This Roast Pork Loin with Apple, Ginger, and Orange Stuffing recipe is as mouthwatering as its accompanying image, and I can’t imagine it failing to impress.

Roast pork is always a great alternative to roast beef if ingesting red meat is out of the question. This recipe simply gives the classic dish a different twist by incorporating “new” ingredients in the stuffing.

Desserts

Orange and Cream Cupcakes

Orange and Cream CupcakesEveryone loves cupcakes! They don’t even really have to be served as dessert – if I had my way, I’d have cupcakes for breakfast, snack, and dessert for lunch and dinner. For something light and fruity, these Orange and Cream Cupcakes aim to satisfy.

The good news for cooks who do not have much time to spare is that this recipe is relatively easy as it calls for yellow cake mix. That alone will save you tons of time. Even better, the batter can be pre-prepared and stored in the fridge for two days. On the downside, the recipe calls for Bird’s Imported English Dessert Mix for Custard Style Pudding, which may not be available in some locations. If you can’t find it, I think that you can use a similar custard/pudding mix instead.

Orange Angel Food Cake

Orange Angel Food CakeAngel food cake, or angel cake, is actually a kind of sponge cake. Its name is derived from the fact that this cake is distinctively airy and light that one can’t help but think that it’s good enough to be food of the angels. Here’s another thing about angel food cake – the UK and the US have different versions! In the UK, angel food cake refers to cake that has three layers of sponge cake. Each layer is rectangular in shape. These layers are colored white, pink, and yellow – the order of which can be jumbled. More so, there is a layer of white cream in between the layers. In the US, angel food cake is usually baked in a tube pan.

This Orange Angel Food Cake recipe calls for the US version of the cake and also provides additional instructions for reshaping the cake, so to speak. To make things even better, you’ll have bits and pieces of orange in the mixture.

Mandarin Orange Dessert

Mandarin Orange DessertDon’t feel like heating up the oven for dessert? Then this Mandarin Orange Dessert will make you happy. All you need is some boiling water and the fridge and you’re all set.

A little background on the mandarin orange. It is also called mandarin or mandarine, and it is grown in tropical and subtropical areas. Thanks to modern agriculture and exports, though, this orange can be found practically anywhere these days. This orange is one of my favorites as it has a thick rind, which makes it easy to peel, and the orange segments do not break easily. And the flavor? This orange is bursting with sweet juice!

Spiced Apple Dessert

Spiced Apple DessertDon’t get me wrong – apple pie is probably one of my all-time favorites, but this is about doing something new in the kitchen. So, instead of the good old apple pie, why don’t you try this Spiced Apple Dessert?

It has similar flavors, but the addition of caramel sauce just gives the dessert a different aspect. The recipe calls for tart apples – not the kind that you usually eat fresh on their own. Don’t worry about the tartness, though, as the spices and baking process will make it just right for dessert.

Caramel Apple Brownie

Caramel Apple BrownieChunky, chewy brownies. Dessert time or snack time really can’t get any better than that, can it? Then again, if you think about gooey caramel, thick cream cheese, and crunchy apples…Do you see where I am going here?

This Caramel Apple Brownie recipe is definitely not your ordinary brownie recipe. You still have that brownie goodness with peanuts (and even peanut butter cups!) but you get to top off the brownies with crunchy red and green apple bits plus caramel. Is it just me or is this too good?

Baked Apple with Tropical Fruit Filling

Baked Apple with Tropical Fruit FillingApples are delicious on their own, but combining it with other tropical fruits is just as good. I am sure you have your own baked apple recipe, but have you ever thought of adding other tropical flavors? Here’s an idea: Baked Apple with Tropical Fruit Filling.

You’ll need Bramley apples for this recipe. Bramley apples are rather sour, so this variety is the most used kind for cooking. If you like it sour, though, no one can stop you from eating a Bramley apple fresh!

As for the fruit filling, you can purchase dried tropical fruit from most supermarkets. That’s the best option unless you live in the tropics and have the time to dry your fruits. ;)

Things You Can Do with Fruit Juice

Apple juice and orange juice are perhaps the most consumed of all fruit juices. At the breakfast table, you’ll probably find orange juice more than apple juice, but I personally prefer the latter. There is so much more that you can do with these fruit juices than drink them straight, though. Here are some creative things that you can concoct to wow your guests – and yourself.

Not Your Ordinary Apple/Orange Juice

Indian Summer Apple Juice Sipper

Indian Summer Apple Juice SipperIt may already be spring, but there is no reason to not have a taste of this Indian Summer Apple Juice Sipper. Apple juice is, after all, a year-round drink. What gives this recipe a twist is the addition of yoghurt. Now don’t get turned off by that ingredient – not only is yoghurt good for digestion, it can also taste really good if prepared properly.

If you want more flavor, you can also add fruits such as bananas and blueberries to this mix. Honey is also great to make the drink sweeter. For a littler sourness, try some lemon juice. Throw everything in the blender, and you’ll have yourself a refreshing smoothie in no time.

Raspberry and Apple Margarita

Raspberry and Apple MargaritaFancy a little kick in your drink? Then perhaps you ought to make some margarita. Some refer to a margarita as a lady’s drink, but a real man knows how to appreciate it as well.

If you’re bored with the regular margarita that you can get at any decent bar and are yearning for something fruitier, then you should know this Raspberry and Apple Margarita recipe by heart. This recipe calls for both apple slices and apple juice plus raspberries and raspberry liqueur. Here’s a tip: get the best liqueur you can – you won’t regret it! (No need to say that only the best tequila will do as well.)

Vanilla Orange Refreshment

Vanilla Orange RefreshmentOrange juice does give you a good start to the day, but sometimes, plain orange juice just does not cut it. If you have a particularly sweet tooth, here’s an alternative: Vanilla Orange Refreshment. This recipe will not only give you the vitamin C that you can get from fresh orange juice, but it also will satisfy your sweet cravings with the loads of vanilla ice cream that is required. I know, one thing seems to cancel the other, but hey, sometimes you just have to satisfy your craving!

It’s not mentioned in the recipe, but I will go out on a limb and suggest blending the mixture for a really nice shake. And if your conscience will not let up, just go easy on the vanilla ice cream. You can always use three scoops instead of four! ;)

Morning Orange Drink Recipe

Morning Orange Drink RecipeMorning Orange Drink RecipeFor some people, nothing but freshly squeezed orange juice will do. For others, the slightly bitter taste turns them off. If you’re catering to the latter group, this Morning Orange Drink Recipe will do the trick. It makes use of frozen orange juice concentrate so the slightly bitter taste will definitely not be there. The addition of milk, sugar, and a bit of vanilla extract makes it even sweeter.

Serve this drink with pancakes, waffles, toast, or whatever breakfast goodies you have in your arsenal, and you can be sure that breakfast will be an enjoyable affair.

Now you have a load of not-so-common things to do with apples and oranges. Given the alternatives, which fruit do you think has the edge? If this infographic below is to be believed, then oranges have the short end of the stick. Give yourself a break and have some fun while viewing the image below.

Apples to Oranges.

Photo credit: Cooks United

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